- Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Nike founder, Phil Knight made the best deal in sports marketing history by signing Michael Jordan in 1984.
Jordan had just finished school at UNC Chapel Hill and was in the midst of being wooed by athletic apparel companies. After hearing Nike’s proposal, he signed for $250,000.
In a recent interview with USA Today, Knight revealed that signing Jordan was the best decision he ever made and helped grow Nike into a $30 billion company.
In 1985, Nike gave Jordan his own signature line of sneakers. From there, one new sneaker was released each year Jordan played in the NBA. The Jordan brand grew to include apparel as well.
Twenty-five years and 29 styles of Air Jordans later, the brand now generates $2 billion a year for Nike.
Looking back at his decades building the company, Knight says Michael Jordan was his greatest investment.
- Jordan Brand/Getty Images
Knight is planning to step down as CEO next year but will still stay involved in the company he founded.